2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Diet Drugs

Posted 02/26/2007

Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical industry giant, enjoyed a tasty chunk of good news this month. Their friends at the ever-cooperative FDA have allowed them to bring a milder version of their prescription fat-blocking drug, Xenical, to the over-the-counter market this summer. The new OTC drug is called alli.

The particular chemical people will be swallowing in alli is orlistat, which causes the body to absorb fewer calories. This is because the “blocked” molecules of fat now travel through your intestines, and the next day, you can flush the little villains down your toilet.

There were naysayers (I among them) who questioned whether taking Xenical was the best approach to weight loss. The drug blocks only about a third of your fat intake, and you could do a lot better yourself on a whole foods, low-fat, restricted portion program and avoid the side effects.

Did I mention side effects?

The commonest by far is an uncomfortable bloating, with some people reporting mild nausea, apparently from all that unabsorbed fat. The consistency of your bowel movement changes, usually something loose, greasy, and foul smelling. Then, there’s the infamous “fecal leakage,” the only proper way to describe an unexpected poop-in-your-pants accident.

Imagine yourself at the health club, in your new workout gear. You feel kind of queasy from the Xenical and regret challenging its effectiveness with that pepperoni pizza last night. The aerobic class starts, and after a dozen hops, disaster happens. You grab your towel to cover your rapidly staining behind and race out the door.

An event like this could happen anywhere. You could also be in the window seat of a transatlantic flight. Or in the second row center at “Wicked.”

Another real concern are vitamin deficiencies. Four vitamins require fat in order for your body to absorb them: A, D, E, and K. You’ve already read here that there’s a national epidemic of low vitamin D and that low levels of D have been linked to increased risks of breast and colon cancer. It’s years too early to make a pronouncement about long-term use of fat-blocking drugs, low vitamin D, and cancer, but why add something new to your list of health concerns?

During TV commercials for alli, the bloat, nausea, “leakage,” and vitamin deficiencies will whiz by, read by a voiceover at the speed of a cattle auctioneer.

One alternative to pill-popping for weight loss is the food plan I present in The Triple Whammy Cure. It eliminates calorie-rich, nutrition-poor junk and processed foods from your diet and replaces them with whole-food–real food–alternatives. Combining the food plan with a 20-minute daily brisk walk is a fine way to start maintaining your weight, and losing weight too.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Ten Drugs Doctors Should Consider De-Prescribing

    Physicians use the word polypharmacy when a patient is taking five or more prescription drugs daily. A recent survey showed that half of women Medicare recipients were taking five or more drugs daily, and 12% of them were taking ten (!) or more. New patients frequently arrive at WholeHealth Chicago carrying bags stuffed like piñatas with prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, the latter recommended by Read More

  • Toxic Metals, Heart Disease, and Chelation Therapy

    In last week’s Health Tip I reviewed the well-researched health dangers of environmental toxic metals (also called heavy metals). They’ve always been a serious health risk, but with the Trump Administration’s recent rollbacks of clean air and water regulations we can expect even more trouble ahead. Statisticians predict an astonishing 160,000 unnecessary deaths over the next decade from the reversals of clean air and water Read More

  • Heavy Metal Toxicity and Your Health

    For those who were otherwise preoccupied that day long ago in high school chemistry, the heavy metals refer to a group of especially dense metals or metal-like substances (called metalloids) found in the environment. These metals–specifically lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum–can all be absorbed by your body and stored there. Our environment is already quite toxic (Trump’s EPA deregulations aren’t helping) and it’s getting Read More

This month, save 20% off all Metagenics Medical Foods

UltraMeal
UltraInflamX
UltraClear